Menotox Challenge, Week 2

I made it through the first week! Well, I guess technically 2nd since I prepped. I feel good still. Especially my mood. I think more so than weight or other physical changes, my positivity is the real winner in the challenge so far. I guess it’s cause I’m finally motivated enough to eat well, sleep well, be well…even if it means giving up some things that I love – or the crutches.

Week 2 – It’s not without difficulty. I have some tough moments here and there. I’ve wanted all the sugars. You ever see that scene in the movie Matilda, where the kid demolished the principals chocolate cake? I’ve daydreamed about that moment, a few times if I’m being honest. I haven’t wanted a drink pretty much since day 2 or 3, that still proved easier than I thought it would be to give up. I think easier also because I have a godfather who has been sober for over 30 years, and I am sticking to this part of the challenge like super glue to honor HIM being able to do that for himself. Dealing with the emotional ups and downs of POF is a challenge itself, and it’s been easy to fall into the spell of anything that will help me forget it for a little while. That doesn’t just go for wine. That goes for the comfort foods I scarfed down while I just stayed in bed doing nothing. Both temporarily “fixed” me. Doing nothing was also a fix. If I sleep, I don’t have to be awake to think about the pain of dealing with this. But then I dream, so I’m not running away to anything better.

I think I’d much rather face my issues walking on a beautiful trail, doing push-ups against fallen down trees, breathing in the smells of dirt and a creek and listening to the peaceful sounds. Now THAT makes me feel better.

I think mentally and emotionally I’m really gonna come out on top from challenging myself to change. I think this will improve my chances of making this an acceptable, and normal part of my life. (Remember, that’s the goal!) Take this quote I just read this morning from an Instagram page I follow – “loving ourselves as we are is one of the most rebellious things we can do.”

As for physical changes I’ve noticed – my face looks less tired, I think. And I’ve had maybe one or two hot flashes in the past two weeks. I have less anxiety since I’ve cut caffeine and sleeping better, which also means less hot flashes. I’m not so sore from tensing my muscles because of the anxiety, too. Less headaches, because I haven’t been drinking. And my boss even said he can tell I’m dieting because I lost weight in my face (though I didn’t recognize that myself) I don’t feel as bloated at the end of the day. I haven’t noticed a real change in energy, but then again this whole exercise thing is kind of fresh for me, so I’m pretty wiped out from it. I had a doc appt the beginning of last month for a sinus infection, and since that weigh in I have lost 7 lbs. So I’m doing something right! I’ll check again this coming Sunday.

Stay tuned as I occasionally add to this entry during the week. And again, thank you to everyone following and supporting me 🙏 And if you’re also taking part in the May Menotox Challenge, comment with your progress!

Today (May 11) marks two weeks without caffeine, almost three weeks without sugar and alcohol, and I’m still holding strong. Every moment that I have a craving, every second that I feel a little frazzled and want that glass of wine, and every time I smell fresh baked cookies..I remind myself how good I feel inside right now and not to damage that hard work. It’s easier to fall back in to that routine than it is to stick to this diet, and they don’t call it a challenge for nothing! I’m still averaging about 15,000 steps a day, my most was over 21,000. I’ve developed a good workout/walk that really pushes me – and tires me out enough at night that I can read a few chapters of my book and fall asleep without needing a drink or a ZzQuil. I also mentioned to my boss the other day that maybe I could shoot for an eventual goal to maybe join a Tough Mudder in the future.

I don’t have to let ovarian failure make me believe I can’t do anything. And now I am taking the necessary steps to take care of my bones and my heart, which is fiercely important with this condition, even on hormone replacements. I think for far too long now I have let myself fall apart, physically and emotionally. I felt like overnight, I aged 40 years inside. Can’t have children. I gained 25 lbs. I had some hair fall out. I was tired constantly. All I did was obsessively look at peoples Facebooks and feel like I would never “get there.” I just wanted to lay around and do nothing, and drink wine.

Eating right and getting some exercise has vastly improved my state of mind and how my gut feels in a matter of just a few weeks, and I should have done this a long time ago. I have people reaching out to me through Facebook, Instagram and this blog and asking my advice, and I feel incredibly proud of that. This is my purpose. I don’t think bad things happen for no reason, I think they happen so you can help someone else face it when it’s their time to experience it.

BRING IT ON MENOPAUSE, BRING IT ON OVARIAN FAILURE, BRING IT ON DAYS THAT I FEEL DOWN, and yeah…BRING IT ON MENOTOX CHALLENGE WEEK 3, BRING IT ONNNN.

Menotox Challenge – Week 1(ish)

Thanks to the Menopause page I follow on Facebook for this one..

Get Ready For May Meno-tox

30 day challenge

It starts this Tuesday ladies!

Nothing complicated, easy to follow rules, just 100% commitment is required.

It’s time to deliberately make the choice to make things happen, rather than being a powerless bystander!

So get yourself ready this weekend.

Plan your menus, buy your supplements, treat yourself to a nice new journal and dust your trainers off 😊

Tuesday May 1st Begin – Write down:

* How you’re feeling emotionally and physically

* What symptoms are troubling you most

* What do you want to achieve from this challenge? (I.e more energy, weight loss etc)

For one month commit to:

* Eating clean/healthy (fish, lean protein, vegetables, beans/legumes, fruit, nuts & seeds)

*Reduce portion sizes – Divide calories throughout the day – Aim for:

400 breakfast

500 lunch

600 dinner

(Tweak this to suit your lifestyle)

* Incorporate 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed in your diet per day

* Reduce (or cut out!) caffeine, sugar and alcohol intake

* Walk briskly for at least 20 minutes every day

* Manage stress levels with a daily meditation session of at least 10 minutes

* Take a good quality multi vitamin & mineral supplement

* Take Phosphatidylserine supplements daily (RDA 300 mg per day)

Keep a daily record of what you have done and how you’re feeling. After one month summarise how you feel compared to day 1.

Pay particular attention to which symptoms have gone, which are more controllable and which ones you’re still having trouble with. The ones you are left with may need more specialised treatment, either from nutrition, supplements or hormone therapy.

By ‘Meno-toxing’ and following a healthy lifestyle regime for one month, you will be giving your body the best possible chance to tackle and reduce your symptoms.

To be successful, you must be mentally ready to commit 100% for a whole month – and no cheating!

It’s Day 1! – I started to prep myself for this challenge a little over a week ago, in an effort to get myself emotionally and physically started.

I’m not gonna lie to you. I love my wine. Probably a little too much at times. I have loved it especially at my darkest times, of which there has been plenty since I left the reproductive endocrinologists office on January 11, 2016. The past two years has been….a rollercoaster. They aren’t kidding when they compare life’s twists and turns to that. And Jesus, I hate rollercoasters. I am terrified of the loops, speed and stomach drop feeling you get on it. I’m more of a…slowly tour the amusement park on the tour train rider.

The fact that I even had to question if stopping drinking for a little while was something I could personally handle, was enough for me to challenge myself, and recognize that I didn’t want it to become a problem. Alcohol definitely increases the duration, severity, and number of hot flashes that I get. It also silently disguises the emotions I need to get through in order to accept this diagnosis as a normal part of my life and the person I am. And sure, it’s great to relax after a stressful work week of which I have many or enjoy a few brews for a night out with friends, but I’ve found in the past two years I was seriously just finding reasons to have a few drinks so I didn’t have to think about POF and how it is changing me. It would be 8am and I’m thinking about whether or not I have enough wine left in the bottle to have three glasses later because 1 or 2 wouldn’t be enough to cover the distress I felt throughout the day, wondering how many pregnant bellies I would see, or announcements on Facebook, or whether anyone notices when I have a hot flash and look like I’ve had an allergic reaction. I usually have bad headaches in the morning, and more easily obtainable hangovers than I had in my 20s. And one of my oddest and new discoveries to date – the skin around all of my tattoos raises when I got a hot flash from drinking. I have plenty of good reasons to cut back. It’s been 9 days without any alcohol and I feel great about that. It’s a lot easier than I thought, actually. Easier than the coffee and sugar so far.

As for the sugar, I started to cut that last week as well. Like cold turkey. I’m a nut..but honestly cold turkey is the only way that will work for me. I quit smoking that way too, it’s just the best way for me to stick to a game plan. I’m still eating fruits though, because they’re delicious and since I’ve cut sugar, fruit is my sweet treat. Today was probably my hardest day, so hopefully it’s only gets easier from this point. In fact, I’ve noticed I unintentionally have avoided bread and starch, too. My stomach has been so happy with me!

COFFEE. My boo. My delicious sweet energizing nectar from the Gods. My life is built around this beautiful bean. Literally, I’m a barista, coffee IS my life. From the first moment I ever drank it when my mom let me around 12, I fell in love for the first time.

Coffee has also been giving me a lot of extra anxiety on top of menopausal anxiety. Menopausal anxiety probably deserves it’s own blog post. I think this was the part of the challenge I was most afraid of, because of the withdrawal symptoms. That’s given me a new anxiety. And I’ll tell ya…the struggle is REAL. I’ve had a persistent, nagging little headache since Sunday afternoon. I’m drained. And I don’t mean like hey, I need a power nap, I mean like..I could probably sleep for 7 days straight and it still wouldn’t help. And though I am doing my besssst to keep my attitude under control, I have a feeling my facial expressions aren’t pleasant this week. Especially when someone says or does something dumb. It’s starting to get better though, just like the sugar, I am reaching the top of the hill where I think it’s about to get easier for me to do this.

My intentions for this challenge are this: to be a healthier, happier and more accepting version of me. I would like to lose some weight, and hopefully increase my energy. By no means am I obese or anything, but since I got diagnosed I have gone up 6 sizes, and I’d like to get back to where I was. Maybe a part of me is also holding on to hope that if I got healthier and more in shape and stopped drinking wine and coffee and did pushups and squats and didn’t curse as much and was nice to everyone and spent more time talking to God, that I could reverse this condition.

I believe they call this the “bargaining” stage of grief?

Whatever my reasons are, I’m happy for the change. If it means my symptoms will become more manageable or went away completely even, and if it meant I was an overall happier person at the end of this, and more accepting of this diagnosis, than this challenge is worth everything.

So Day 1 (or kind of Day like 5, 6 and 7 since I started early) – this morning was hard. I wanted all the unhealthy things..for about an hour. I stayed strong. And I got over the bump and continued my healthy eating. I also doubled my Fitbit step goal and walked over 20,000 steps! Drank lots of water. Enjoyed a nice walk at the trail. I feel positive, motivated, determined and exhausted. And I look forward to powering through this challenge, and sharing my experience with everyone. Stay tuned!

Day 2 – decaf earl grey tea is pretty good. Now as a barista with my plentiful knowledge on the subject, yes I am aware that decaf is not technically caffeine free and has like 3% caffeine. Cold turkey is hard, you guys. I did get some great sleep last night, though. Probably my 20,000 steps yesterday. According to my Fitbit it was the least amount in a week, but felt the best to me. I’m noticing I’m less jumpy, too.

Day 3 – I feel really great this morning! I had my absolute best sleep last night. Over 8 hours and didn’t wake up once. Only 3 times restless according to my Fitbit app (assuming its on point lol) I will say, my walk last night was tough, though. My energy seemed a little lower and I’m not sure if it was physically related or heat related since the temps began to soar this week. Humidity, heat and menopause are not exactly good company. I’m feeling better about my diet. Sugar cravings are dropping. Haven’t wanted a drink at all. Caffeine has quickly become an old friend that pops up on Facebook under “People You May Know,” that you don’t need to click on.

Today I have an appt with my OBGYN, who is the primary doctor who manages my treatment. I’m excited to tell her about this challenge, and ask her for advice and suggestions. Like how to reach my newly realized goal of lose enough belly fat that my stomach no longer sticks out past my boobs.

Day 6 – Sorry! I skipped blogging a couple days. Super busy. Busy being healthyyyy 💪💯

I had a rough Friday night. I wanted more fulfilling food, and a glass of wine. Surprisingly, the coffee has moved up to first place as far as easy detox 🧐 I also had a bad headache that day and a smoothie or celery sticks was not gonna cover it. I got myself a lentil soup, and I wasn’t certain on the ingredients honestly, and I also did have a small piece of cornbread to avoid vomiting from the headache, which helped immensely. Went for my walk the next morning and threw maca in my smoothie and boom – felt like a new woman! I’ve tried maca before, but I don’t recall noticing much of a difference, so maybe without all the caffeine and sugar now…it showed itself? I’m gonna try it for a good couple months at least this time. Last time I gave up after like 2 weeks. I shopped for a LOT of healthy stuff yesterday. Veggies/fruit/fish and picked up my flaxseed. I was a little late on that! Also picked up hand weights and a scale. And speaking of scale – as of a doctors appt I had last month for a sinus infection, I’ve lost 7 POUNDS! I also hit over 21,000 steps last night! That really amped up my motivation for this 🤗

Thank you for following the journey so far, stay tuned for a new post as I head in to week two of my May Menotox Challenge.